Prof. Florence Obi, Vice-Chancellor, University of Calabar, has charged students of the institution to redouble their efforts towards acquiring requisite industrial skills, assuring that the world will create employment opportunities for them.
Obi gave the charge on Tuesday in Calabar during the orientation exercise organized by the Directorate of Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), UNICAL, for students embarking on industrial attachment.
She said that SIWES had provided students with a veritable platform to market themselves, adding that acquiring skills would place them in advantaged positions to secure gainful employment after graduation.
“SIWES is a good thing that has happened to universities. It is a bridge between theory and practice; it has boosted students’ practical skills and made them creative and innovative.
“The scheme is one step to getting employment. It is a way to market yourself to employers”, she said.
The vice-chancellor, who urged them to be good ambassadors of the institution, stressed that they would always stand out from the crowd if they were committed and dedicated to the scheme.
In his welcome address, the Director of SIWES, Dr. Imo Obot, said that SIWES was established by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in 1973 to prepare students for industrial experience and employment skills.
Obot said the orientation exercise, which witnessed the official unveiling of the University Online Student’s Industrial Attachment Procedure, would bring a shift from the analog procedure to the current global standards in teaching and learning centers.
He said that SIWES would always key into the policy thrust of the current administration in UNICAL, adding that the vice-chancellor’s passion for Information and Communication Technology had given an unprecedented lift to SIWES.
The director expressed delight that students of the university participated in the orientation exercise to acquire all benefits of the scheme.
He also solicited the support of relevant stakeholders to offer students the needed support and assistance.
He urged students to dispose themselves positively and holistically in thought, attitude, and skills to make good use of the opportunities in the scheme.
Earlier, the Area Manager of ITF, Calabar, Mr. Vincent Iyam, said that SIWES was established to generate a pool of indigenous human resources to bridge the skill gap in the country.
Iyam, represented by the Head of Training, ITF, Mr. Nwigboji Nwafagu, described the scheme as a veritable tool for national and economic developments.
He charged the students to embrace the scheme, show initiative, and drive in their undertakings.